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This article is part of the supplement: Biodiversity Informatics

Open Access Open Badges Research

Towards a data publishing framework for primary biodiversity data: challenges and potentials for the biodiversity informatics community

Vishwas S Chavan1* and Peter Ingwersen2

  • * Corresponding author: Vishwas S Chavan

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Global Biodiversity Information Facility Secretariat, Universitetsparken 15, DK 2100, Copenhagen, Denmark

2 Department of Information Studies, Royal School of Library and Information Sciences, Birketinget 6, DK 2300, Copenhagen, Denmark

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BMC Bioinformatics 2009, 10(Suppl 14):S2  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-S14-S2

Published: 10 November 2009



Currently primary scientific data, especially that dealing with biodiversity, is neither easily discoverable nor accessible. Amongst several impediments, one is a lack of professional recognition of scientific data publishing efforts. A possible solution is establishment of a 'Data Publishing Framework' which would encourage and recognise investments and efforts by institutions and individuals towards management, and publishing of primary scientific data potentially on a par with recognitions received for scholarly publications.


This paper reviews the state-of-the-art of primary biodiversity data publishing, and conceptualises a 'Data Publishing Framework' that would help incentivise efforts and investments by institutions and individuals in facilitating free and open access to biodiversity data. It further postulates the institutionalisation of a 'Data Usage Index (DUI)', that would attribute due recognition to multiple players in the data collection/creation, management and publishing cycle.


We believe that institutionalisation of such a 'Data Publishing Framework' that offers socio-cultural, legal, technical, economic and policy environment conducive for data publishing will facilitate expedited discovery and mobilisation of an exponential increase in quantity of 'fit-for-use' primary biodiversity data, much of which is currently invisible.